Jameis Winston and Drew Brees are now NFL teammates for the first time in history, but one has already had the other’s back. Winston officially signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, and he’s going to compete with Taysom Hill for the back-up job. Despite facing Brees numerous times on the field as an opponent, Winston admits that their connection goes back to when he was a little kid.
In 2006, Brees signed with the Saints in a huge moment, which turned around a franchise and eventually brought a Super Bowl victory. Winston says he had just turned 12 when that happened, and he was the first kid to get an autograph from Brees when it happened, as reported by ESPN.
At the time, Brees was in Birmingham, Alabama, to rehab from his shoulder surgery, and that happened to be where Winston was growing up as a kid. Winston lost that autograph over the years, but now he has the opportunity to play alongside someone he once idolized.
“There’s only a few people in this league that actually follow up with you when you ask them a question, when you reach out to them… And ever since then, he’s always been a guy that I can hit up during the season and ask a question, and he’ll get back with me.
“So I just love the person that he is and the guy that he is, and I’m so excited to learn from him and help serve him in any way.”
For the first five years of his career, Winston has been the leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he has faced the Saints twice a season. The arrival of Tom Brady made Winston expendable, and the Saints know talent when they see it.
Brees returned to the Saints for yet another season as he feels the team has all the pieces in place for another Super Bowl run. Going into the 2020 season, he will be the starting quarterback, and the battle for number two will be heating up as training camp arrives in the middle of the summer.
Taysom Hill has a new deal in place with the Saints as of last week, and he will face off with Winston to sit immediately behind Brees.
Jameis Winston says he did have other opportunities in the NFL upon becoming a free agent, but he knows the Saints were the best fit. He’s not even looking ahead to when Brees retires but focusing on working with him and Sean Payton in the upcoming season.